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How Do Second-Generation Immigrant Students Access Higher Education? The Importance of Vocational Routes to Higher Education in Switzerland, France, and Germany


We analyse the access to different institutional pathways to higher education for second-generation students, focusing on youths that hold a higher-education entrance certificate. The alternative vocational pathway appears to compensate to some degree, compared to the traditional academic one, for North-African and Southern-European youths in France, those from Turkey in Germany, and to a lesser degree those from Portugal, Turkey, Ex-Yugoslavia, Albania/Kosovo in Switzerland. This is not the case in Switzerland for Western-European, Italian, and Spanish youths who indeed access higher education via the academic pathway more often than Swiss youths. Using youth panel and survey data, multinomial models are applied to analyse these pathway choices.